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NAFTA Re-negotiations Vital for Illinois Farmers

Krista Swanson with the Gardner Agricultural Policy Program of the University of Illinois is constantly researching to find ways to help farmers across the state.

Analysis of the last farm bill is the primary focus of Swanson’s current research. Another topic of conversation is trade policy. President Trump has threatened to pull the United States out of NAFTA, The North American Free Trade Agreement, a mutually beneficial trade deal with Canada and Mexico. Swanson shares why this would have a huge impact on the state of Illinois and its farmers:

“NAFTA is very important to Illinois farmers, U.S. farmers. Canada and Mexico have combined to average 43 percent of Illinois’s export market over the last five years, so even to Illinois in particular, our exports to Canada and Mexico are very important,” Swanson said.

This is especially alarming now that Canada and Mexico are set to finalize a trading partnership with European countries in March.

Swanson believes farmers must continue to stay focused on their in-house operations moving forward to ultimately come out on top during these tough times. One of Swanson’s research partners, Gary Schnitkey, along with Dan Davidson of the Illinois Soybean Association and Dwight Rabb of Illinois Farm Business Farm Management will be speaking in Galesburg on Valentine’s Day as part of the 2018 Resilient Farm Roadshow. She encourages anyone looking to improve their operation to attend:

“That will be a great chance to hear some of those habits of successful farm operators. That includes being innovative and cost-conscious, and evaluating your results,” Swanson stated.

The event will be held at Best Western Prairie Inn & Conference Center starting at 8:15 a.m.

written by Jackson Kane

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